The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He – Book Review!

The Ones Were Mean to find

Cee has been trapped on an abandoned island for three years without any recollection of how she arrived, or memories from her life prior. All she knows is that somewhere out there, beyond the horizon, she has a sister named Kay. Determined to find her, Cee devotes her days to building a boat from junk parts scavenged inland, doing everything in her power to survive until the day she gets off the island and reunites with her sister.

In a world apart, 16-year-old STEM prodigy Kasey Mizuhara is also living a life of isolation. The eco-city she calls home is one of eight levitating around the world, built for people who protected the planet―and now need protecting from it. With natural disasters on the rise due to climate change, eco-cities provide clean air, water, and shelter. Their residents, in exchange, must spend at least a third of their time in stasis pods, conducting business virtually whenever possible to reduce their environmental footprint. While Kasey, an introvert and loner, doesn’t mind the lifestyle, her sister Celia hated it. Popular and lovable, Celia much preferred the outside world. But no one could have predicted that Celia would take a boat out to sea, never to return.

Now it’s been three months since Celia’s disappearance, and Kasey has given up hope. Logic says that her sister must be dead. But as the public decries her stance, she starts to second guess herself and decides to retrace Celia’s last steps. Where they’ll lead her, she does not know. Her sister was full of secrets. But Kasey has a secret of her own.

My Review.

Thank you to the publisher for gifting me a copy of this book for review. I can confirm all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Having read a boat load of positive reviews for this book I had ridiculously high expectations going in, expectations that it met and then some. The Ones We’re Meant to Find is a story about humanity, and what exactly it is that makes us human. But it’s also a story of family, about love, about loss and about exactly how far we would go to find those we love. Cee barely remembers her name, let alone anything else about her life before the Island, but she does remember she has a sister called Kay. A sister that she is determined to get to, no matter the cost. Kasey is a genius, but like most genius’ she doesn’t do well socialising, nor in the public eye. Something she has had to put up with since her sister Celia disappeared 3 months ago. She is adamant that Celia is dead, but the public disagree, so Kasey decides to look into her sister’s movements in the months before she disappeared, but even she isn’t prepared for what she finds. In the aftermath of her discovery Kasey put’s into place a plan, a plan that could save humanity, or destroy it.

The strength of this book definitely comes from it’s characters. Cee is determined and resilient, after spending three years on the Island, barely remembering her own name, and getting only flashbacks of her life before. Alone except for a robot U-Me ( who is bloody hilarious), she has spent the past years building a boat to take her back to her sister, the one person she remembers with a clarity. She remembers a life in the sky, and is sure this is where Kasey must be. Cee’s story is one of loss, loss of more than just her memories and I couldn’t help but empathise with her. Kasey is the polar opposite of her sister Celia. She is a social recluse, an introvert. Her outlook on life sometimes puts people ill at ease around her, but Kasey just wants humanity to survive, no matter the cost. With growing dangers on the mainland, and shortage of space in the eco-cities, it is Kasey who come’s up with a plan to save as many people as possible, because Celia always told her she could save the world, and Kasey is determined to do just that.

You could say this story has been told before, and you would be right. This story of humanity destroying earth and the desperate solutions having to be made to ensure survival. And while this story differs in many way from the ones that have come before, it’s the emotional impact of this story that really makes it stand out. There were certain parts of this book where my heart simply broke in two for the characters, characters who’s lives I felt entwined with, whose goals had become my goals. No detail is insignificant in this story, from the ways in which the POV’s are written, to the details on the cover. I will admit to being a little blindsided by the ‘big’ plot twist, but in the best way possible, it really hit me and I had to just put the book down for a little while whilst I digested what I had just read.

The world that He builds is brilliantly rendered, and I found myself being dragged into both Cee’s Island as well as the Eco-City where Kasey resides. In He’s dystopian future, humanity has brought the world to it’s knees. On the mainland Tsumami’s and super earthquakes threaten the lives of the humans who reside there, whereas the ones who where lucky enough to move to the eco-cities live in relative luxury, travelling through life without the permanent fear of death. I always think these kinds of stories pack more of an emotional punch because of how close to reality they could be. We all know about global warming, and the effects of pollution on the planet, and it’s not hard to envision a future like the one in this book.

I haven’t read any other books by this author yet, but you can bet your ass I will be picking them up asap. He’s prose and writing style completely enveloped me in the story. Her foreshadowing is amazing, and I couldn’t believe I didn’t see the plot twists coming when they hit. I found it almost impossible to put this book down, and work and sleep were pretty much the only two things that kept me from devouring it in one sitting. There are plenty of WTF moments, and the author certainly likes to keep you guessing what exactly is going on, but it all add’s to the impact of the big plot twist and makes the story that have that much more of an emotional impact. An easy 5/5 stars and a book that will definitely stay with me long after reading.

16 replies »

  1. Ahh great review!!! I’m so glad you enjoyed it so much. I’m reading it right now and I’m totally with you on the worldbuilding. Really excited to read on! I’ve read He’s other book ‘Descendant of the Crane’ and I remember the plot twists in that one floored me too. If you read it I hope you’ll enjoy!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Fabulous review, Becky! I couldn’t agree more with everything you said. I had to put this book down several times after plot reveals and twists because they just stunned me. He’s ability to craft such a magnificent world and story and realistic characters is just *chefs kiss(es forever)*! So so good. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think JHs jump from fantasy to sci-fi is a real success. with her signature beautiful prose, JH has created an elevated ‘lifelike’ and ‘warcross,’ bringing new dimensions to the genre.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I still need to pick up her first book, I have a copy on my shelf but haven’t got round to it yet. Lots of people have said positive things though, and if it’s anything like TOWMTF then I’m sure I will love it.


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